Social media is an important tool for any new business finding their feet, but with so much choice out there, should you include Google+ on your list of social networks?

Social media platforms offer a range of significant benefits for your new business, and Google+ is no exception, and is gaining good ground over the other more well-established networks. So much so that it should be a main part of your marketing plan.

It is easy to think that sticking with tried and tested networks such as LinkedIn and Twitter will be a good use of the time you devote towards social media marketing, but you can use Google+ to boost your content further, and this will certainly help to attract and connect with people with whom you would otherwise struggle to reach.

What makes G+ so different?

Google+ is different because it allows you to engage and share with people who have similar interests to your own, and therefore opens up more business opportunities for you. It can be used as a great discovery tool to uncover new or complementary businesses that could prove useful to you in the future. Facebook and Twitter on the other hand have always been places to interact with friends and family, as well as with people and businesses that you already know.

But isn’t that what LinkedIn is all about? Wasn’t this network created mainly with the business community in mind?

Well, yes it was devised for business use, but in all honesty people don’t tend to use it very well. It is a good place to network if you are looking to find a new job, and keeping your CV and profile up-to-date and easily accessible will also help with this, but again it is built on the basis of connecting with people that you already know.

Google+ is much more open than other networks, and makes it easy to make connections with people or businesses that you don’t yet know, but would like to build a solid relationship with, knowing that they share similar interests to your own. It’s ease of use also makes it appealing, and less of a chore to use that other social networking sites.

Is G+ the new email?

Once upon a time, not that long ago actually, email marketing was ‘hot’. Before the launch of social media it was one of the main tools of a marketers arsenal, but with email volume increasing year on year, and with actual email opening rates steadily declining, a new business has to find as many ways as possible to communicate with prospective clients, social media being one of the most flexible ways to do this.

Within Google+ you can sort your contacts into different circles according to how you want to categorise them. From here is is very easy to send each circle a message with amended information to suit their category. For example, you may have one circle where you keep your suppliers, another will be for affiliates, and another for prospective clients, one for confirmed customers, etc. You can write specific, targeted posts for each circle, or write a general one containing some news or useful information and then you can choose to make it public, or restrict it to specific circles.

You also have access to a very useful tool in Google Hangouts. This gives you the freedom of a multiple chat platform where you can invite up to 100 people for a chat – handy for when passing information onto affiliates, or inviting new prospects to a Q&A session where they can freely ask questions and get to know you better. You can also conduct video calls for up to 10 people, which is a great way to connect to remote staff members or operatives out in the field that work away from a main base.

A boost to your rankings

Being powered by the all-mighty Google, your search engine visibility will be impacted by your activity in positive ways. For example, anyone following you on Google+ will see your results higher in the search engine rankings than they would otherwise. This can only help to establish your credibility as a serious business, and will give your company a great sense of expertise and authority in your particular field.

Put simply, the more followers you can attract through Google+, the higher your SEO ranking will be, and the better your profile will be in people’s eyes.

Never forget the golden rule with any social media marketing – content is king! The more consistently you post quality information, the more followers you will build, and they will stay loyal to you over time resulting in quality leads for new business opportunities.

When you provide high-quality content, you have an increased chance of your followers +’ing your posts, which in turn will bring you a lot more exposure, especially if these followers have a large following of their own.

Gain credibility with G+

If you have been steadily building up a presence on social media platforms, but have yet to dip your toe into the world of Google+, then it is worth going back to your blog and website to link your content to Google+. This is known as Google Authorship, and will let Google know you are the author of this content, and when it is used again, re-tweeted, re-posted etc. you will be credited accordingly.

The benefit of linking your Google+ account to your already created content will mean increased search engine visibility, and therefore a higher chance that people will click-through to your site.

So – who uses Google+ anyway? Clever social media marketers, and anyone that is serious about establishing their new business brand, that’s who!